October 29, 2004 A PRIMEDIA Property Vol. III No. 20
Report on State Spending Reveals Increase in Infrastructure Funding

Counterfeit Lighting, Electrical Products Cause Serious Safety Concerns

AGC Believes Tax Bill Will Benefit Contractors

USPS, FedEx Boost California's Solar Power Resources

Portland Calls for Bids on Urban Renewal Project

Texas Parks and Wildlife Announces Electrical Renovation Project

Service Your Customers With the Proper Feed

Eye on Safety

On the Job and Out to Lunch

Power Quality Exhibition & Conference

Power-Gen International

Battcon 2005 Call for Papers

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    Around the Circuit
    Report on State Spending Reveals Increase in Infrastructure Funding
    According to a recent report released by the National Association of State Budget Officers, states' capital spending on infrastructure, including transportation, education, and correctional facilities, rose 9.2% in fiscal 2004 to an estimated $71.6 billion. A 6% decrease from 2002, the 2003 total was $65.5 billion. Because of the ever-changing nature of capital spending, due to long construction timetables and unforeseen or delayed project costs, increases in state spending on capital projects are typically followed by a significant slowdown or decrease, the report notes. The largest category of state capital expenditures, estimated at $41.3 billion for 2004, transportation increased 5.9% from the previous year. After experiencing a 14.7% decrease in 2003 from 2002, higher education rose 21% in 2004 to an estimated $9 billion. Forecasted to reach $1.5 billion in 2004, corrections spending was up 16% from 2003, but not much higher than 2002's $1.4 billion. Where does the money come from? As far as funding goes, states secured 35% of their capital budgets from dedicated fees and fund surpluses, 33% from bonds, 27% from federal funds, and 5% from state general funds. To view the entire report, click here.

    Simple. Reliable. Accurate. AEMC Instruments' clamp-on ground resistance testers measure ground rod and grid resistance in any environment without the use of auxiliary ground rods. Both testers measure ground resistance from 0.01 ohm to 1200 ohms without disconnecting the rod under test. The Models 3711 and 3731 also measure ground leakage and phase current from 1mA to 30Arms. The large jaw (1.25") accommodates ground conductors up to 1000MCM. The Model 3731 includes both an alarm function and a memory function, which will store up to 99 field measurements. Patented design. Visit www.aemc.com to learn more.

    Counterfeit Lighting, Electrical Products Cause Serious Safety Concerns
    When you hear that Christmas tree lights are being faked these days, you start to realize the scope of the counterfeiting crisis that exists in the electrical industry. According to the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), millions of dollars worth of counterfeit lighting and other electrical system products are finding their way into the U.S. supply chain each month, creating serious safety hazards in buildings across the country. According to John Bachner, director of communications at the NLB, many of the counterfeits appear to be exact duplicates of the originals, including trademarks and certification marks on the products and packages themselves. Noting that many of the products involved are used as components, such as contactors, overload relays, circuit breakers, and push buttons, Bachner cites a few recent examples of typical problems. In one raid, U.S. Customs officials seized ground-fault circuit interrupters that had no protective circuitry. In another, they confiscated counterfeit electrical cords and power strips that melted and caught fire during testing by Underwriters Laboratories.

    AGC Believes Tax Bill
    Will Benefit Contractors

    Congress recently sent the "American Jobs Creation Act" to the President for approval. Lobbying on behalf of many of the business tax incentives included in this bill, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) supports HR 4520, noting that it contains many provisions that will benefit general contractors, stimulate construction, and make whole the highway Trust Fund (HTF). A few of the provisions affecting construction include Tax Deduction for Manufacturing and Small Business Expensing. The first provision provides a tax deduction that eventually reaches 9% on all domestic manufacturing activity, including construction, architectural, and engineering services performed on construction projects in the United States. Available to C and S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietors, cooperatives, and estates and trusts, this deduction equals 3% in 2005 and 2006, 6% in 2007-2009, and 9% in 2010 and beyond. Extending the enhanced limits on section 179 expensing through 2007, the second provision enables small businesses (taxpayers purchasing less than $400,000 of new equipment in a taxable year) to deduct as much as $100,000 of new investments.

    USPS, FedEx Boost California's Solar Power Resources
    In two separate projects, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and FedEx recently brought more solar power to The Golden State. In mid-October, the USPS dedicated one of the nation's largest federal solar installations at its major Northern California hub -- the West Sacramento Processing & Distribution Center, a 573,000-square-feet facility employing more than 1,200 and processing eight to 10 million pieces of mail per day. The 403kW solar electric system is mounted on a new parking structure and covers nearly 28,000 square feet. Scheduled for completion in May 2005, FedEx announced the installation of California's largest corporate solar array at its hub in Oakland International Airport. The 904kW solar array will provide approximately 80% of the peak load demand for the facility and will cover 71,000 square feet on the roofs of two buildings. Sunlight will be converted directly into electricity by 5,769 photovoltaic modules, comprising more than 300,000 solar cells.

    The Only Thing That Will Go Faster Than This Year's Collectible Is The Real Thing
    The 2005 collectible from IDEAL comes fully loaded and packed with attitude. It features a Cadillac Escalade EXT hauling a pair of Orange County Choppers. You could also qualify to win a custom IDEAL Orange County Chopper in the Born to be Wired Sweepstakes. Visit www.idealindustries.com for details and then head to your local IDEAL distributor today to find out how you can become part of the excitement.

    Project Watch
    Portland Calls for Bids on Urban
    Renewal Project

    Subcontractors interested in bidding on electrical work for Hoffman Construction Co.'s recent call for bids on the South Waterfront/North Macadam project in Portland, Ore., have until December 2004 to submit proposals for the OHSU River Campus Building One and Meriwether Condominium Towers. This urban renewal area contains a significant amount of property that has been largely underused for many years because of technical difficulties, environmental remediation, and the need for transportation infrastructure improvements. During the past 15 years, development has changed to mixed commercial and residential development from industrial functions. For background on the project, visit the Portland Development Commission's Web site. To receive an e-mailed invitation to bid when bid documents are issued, fill out an online request for information.

    Texas Parks and Wildlife Announces Electrical Renovation Project
    The state of Texas' Parks and Wildlife Department recently released a list of construction jobs, including one electrical renovation project at the Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area. The project includes electrical renovations estimated at $90,000 to $110,000 with a performance period of 100 calendar days. Interested parties should submit sealed bids to Contracting and Project Management Systems Branch, Infrastructure Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744 before 2 p.m. on Nov. 4, 2004. Note: Actual construction work may not begin prior to April 1, 2005. For bidding and contract documents (available at no charge) call (512) 389-4442 or e-mail. For more information online, read the notice to bidders.

    Contractors Earn Free Merchandise From

    Introducing the Great GearSM program, a way to acquire free gifts by collecting and redeeming
    B-Line Bucks found on
    B-Line's fastener product boxes. Simply remove your B-Line Bucks from the box label and use them to select from a wide assortment of gear in B-Line's Great Gear catalog. To obtain a catalog and order forms, see your local B-Line distributor, or visit our Web site at www.b-line.com.

    Zone Exclusives
    Service Your Customers With the Proper Feed
    Defining where your service entrance starts and ends is a key step in the electrical design process. Omitting this step can result in rework or excess cost if you're lucky, and catastrophic failure if you're not. Mike Holt, EC&M's Code consultant, reviews the requirements of Art. 230 for electrical services. Visit EC&M's Web site for the full article.

    Eye on Safety
    Whether you're looking for interpretations of the latest National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) standards, updates on recent revisions and amendments, white papers and presentations from industry experts, news updates, or electrical safety tips, the NESC Zone is a one-stop online resource for NESC information. Published by the IEEE, NESC rules are intended to provide the practical safeguarding of persons during the installation, operation, or maintenance of electric supply and communication lines and associated equipment. For more information, visit the Web site.

    On the Job and Out to Lunch
    Everyone makes mistakes. Some are just funnier than others. Got a story about a jobsite blunder you'd like to share? Send us your story of embarrassing on-the-job mistakes for use in EC&M's new column called Short Circuits. If we publish it, we'll send you a check for $25. Read the latest stories from your fellow readers.

    NIMBUS™ Offers 190 Insulated Connectors
    Configurations include single-sided or dual-sided multi-tap connectors as well as in-line or offset splicer-reducer connectors. Dual rated for copper or aluminum conductor, the offering is UL Listed and features removable plugs for entry port closure. Visit our web site at www.ilsco.com for additional product information.

    Shows and Events
    Power Quality Exhibition & Conference
    The August 14th blackout last year made businesses everywhere recognize their vulnerability to power interruptions and put a premium on power quality professionals that are capable of leading their companies to the right products and solutions. The 15th Annual Power Quality Exhibition & Conference, presented by PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media, will be held Nov. 16-18 at Navy Pier in Chicago. The event will provide a venue for engineers to see, test, and price the latest power quality and power reliability products and equipment, and to learn about power quality issues, technologies, and methods from leading industry authorities. For more information, visit the event Web site or download a conference brochure.

    Power-Gen International
    With tracks covering power industry trends, competitive power generation, environmental issues, fossil technologies, gas turbine technologies, emerging/renewable technologies, on-site power, and plant performance issues, there's something of interest for every power professional at the upcoming Power-Gen International, to be held Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Orlando, Fla. Attendees will have the opportunity to gain valuable networking time with leading industry experts as well as take advantage of the comprehensive conference program and extensive exhibit hall. For more information, visit the event Web site or register online.

    Battcon 2005
    Call for Papers

    Whether you're in R&D, education, manufacturing, or on the service side of the business, coordinators of the Ninth Annual Battcon 2005 International Battery Conference would like to hear from you. Designed to meet the needs of end-users and manufacturers of batteries and battery test equipment, this event is scheduled for May 2-4 in Miami Beach, Fla. If you're interested in presenting, submit your half-page abstract by e-mail (Word format) before Jan. 10, 2005. Upon acceptance, complete your paper by Feb. 15, 2005. Presenters will be allotted 20-minute time slots, with a question and answer period following. For more details, read the Call for Papers and Author Style Guide or send an e-mail.

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    Copyright 2004, PRIMEDIA. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, re-disseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Primedia Business Magazines & Media Inc.